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RTP and Payouts of Lightning Roulette: Revealing the Truth

Last updated: 10.01.2024 by Andrew Shepard

Lightning Roulette is among the first representatives of live games with multiplier payouts, and we can say that it has been Evolution Gaming's most popular game for years. The main reason for this is that it offers almost the same RTP rate as classic European roulette but pays up to 500x for straight bets. So, if you bet on one of the lucky numbers chosen before a round starts and win, you get paid up to 500 times your wager. This is the game's basic selling point and in exchange for this opportunity, it pays 29:1 instead of 35:1 for regular straight bets and according to game specs lowers their RTP to 97,10%, instead of the usual 97,30%. So, if your straight bet is not one of the lucky numbers but you still win it, you get paid 29x instead of 35x and there is only a small (0.20%) difference in terms of RTP.

But how can Lightning Roulette do this with a little change in the RTP percentage? Or could the actual RTP value be different? Below we will answer this question and share the actual house edge/RTP percentages of this game.

The problem with official RTP rates

To explain the problem, we first need to list the differences between Lightning Roulette and classic European roulette. We pulled the following information from the game's official paytable:

  • In the Lightning version, the RTP value of the straight bet is 97.10% (97.30% in the classic version)
  • In the Lightning version, the straight bet (if it is one of the lucky numbers) pays up to 500x (35x in the classic version)
  • In the Lightning version, a straight bet without any lucky numbers pays 29:1 (35:1 in the classic version).
return to player

So, here's the thing: although Lightning Roulette only has a 0.20% lower RTP rate for straight bets, it claims to offer a much larger payout potential than classic roulette: if you're lucky enough, you can win 500x instead of 35x. Although the difference is quite large, the RTP rate decreases by only 0.20%: this is reason enough to be suspicious. Using a simple formula, we can easily see how true this claim is.

The real RTP of Lightning Roulette

Below we'll show you how to calculate the actual house edge and RTP values of straight bets using a formula, but if you're unfamiliar with the subject we recommend checking out our two articles first for the basics. We talk about RTP here, house edge here and explain both in detail.

The formula we will use is simply this:

(-loss x odds) + (win x odds)

The result of this calculation will show what the house edge is and using it, we can find out what the RTP is. Let's briefly explain the values in the formula:

  • Loss: The amount of the bet you are likely to lose. In this variant, straight bets pay 29:1, so the loss amount must be 1.
  • Win: The payout amount you are likely to win. For the reason we explained above, this amount will be 29.
  • Loss Odds: This variant uses the European roulette wheel, meaning there are 37 numbers. With a straight bet, you are betting on only one, so your odds of losing are 36/37.
  • Win Odds: For the same reason, your odds of winning are 1/37.

Now let's enter these values into our formula:

  • (-1*36/37) + (29*1/37)
  • -0.9729 + 0.7837
  • -0.1892

So, the house edge is 18.92%. By simply subtracting this from 100 we can find out what the RTP rate is: 81.08% (100 - 18.92). Therefore, the real RTP of Lightning Roulette is 81.08%, not 97.10% as claimed.


81.08% is not a bad RTP percentage, but it is not good either. To give you an idea, it is very similar to the RTP rates of keno and bingo games. And, without a doubt, it is worse than the regular RTP rate of the classic European roulette (97.30%). That being said, this does not mean that you should stay away from this game. The selling point of Lightning Roulette is the chance to win 500x – this is still possible. You just need to have more realistic expectations in terms of RTP & house edge rates and consider real values, not claimed ones, when planning your budget.

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